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Biathlon, Kontiolahti World Cup 2022. Quentin Fillon Maillet tries the decisive escape for the Crystal Ball


The Beijing 2022 Olympic Games are now recent history. The Biathlon World Cup is therefore preparing to face the final part of its season. The final rush of winter 2021-22 will start from Kontiolahti , which in truth in the original version of the calendar should have hosted the November opening. Nonetheless, the troubled events of sports policy of which the Belarusian Olympic Committee was a victim, meant that already in the spring of 2021 the IBU adjusted the programs , removing the first stage of March in Minsk-Raubichi to assign it precisely to the Karelian town. northern, then moved from the beginning to the end of the season.

In the male field, Quentin Fillon Maillet cradles the dream of getting his hands on the crystal ball. The Frenchman is 135 points ahead of his compatriot Emilien Jacquelin and 150 points over the Norwegian Tarjei Bø , whose younger brother Johannes , winner of the last three World Cups, has decided to end his season in advance, abdicating and giving up. to try to catch up with the 196 points behind.

Kontiolahti was originally one of the many Finnish plants where the World Cup used to stop. For nearly two decades she had to alternate several times with Lahti, but since 2007 she has earned the role of the exclusive stage of biathlon in Finland. While struggling to find a fixed place in the program of the maximum circuit, this polygon managed to organize two editions of the World Championships (1999 and 2015), as well as a large number of competitions.

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To date, 37 first-level individual men’s races have been held in the Kontiolahden ampumahiihtokeskus (5 twenty km, 17 sprints, 12 pursuits, 3 mass starts), of which six with world championship value, in which twenty-two different athletes have won.
Among them, the most successful of all is Johannes Bø , who just last season became the first to hoist himself to 6 successes, definitively detaching Ole Einar Bjørndalen and Martin Fourcade. The Norwegian has excelled three times in March 2014, then adding one affirmation at the 2015 World Cup and two in the calendar year 2020, albeit in different winters, having excelled both in March and November.
Including the 28-year-old Scandinavian, seven active athletes have already won in the snows of North Karelia. Erik Lesser and Jakov Fak both won world gold in 2015, Julian Eberhard reaped a hit in March 2018, while Sturla Holm Lægreid , Tarjei Bø and Sebastian Samuelsson all joined the company between November and December 2020.

Looking instead at the podiums , there are fifteen biathletes still in action who have already entered the top three in Kontiolahti. The ranking is dominated by Johannes , who also precedes his brother Tarjei.
9 (6-1-2) – BØ Johannes Thingnes [NOR]
4 (1-0-3) – BØ Tarjei [NOR]
2 (1-1-0) – SAMUELSSON Sebastian [SWE]
2 (1-0-1) – LESSER Erik [GER]
2 (0-1-1) – FILLON MAILLET Quentin [FRA]
2 (0-0-2) – JACQUELIN Emilien [FRA]
1 (1-0-0) – FAK Jakov [SLO]
1 (1-0-0) – EBERHARD Julian [AUT]
1 (1-0-0) – LÆGREID Sturla Holm [NOR]
1 (0-1-0) – LAPSHIN Timofey [RUS]
1 (0-1-0) – EDER Simon [AUT]
1 (0-1-0) – RASTORGUJEVS Andrejs [LAT]
1 (0-1-0) – CLAUDE Fabien [FRA]
1 (0-0-1) – WEGER Benjamin [SUI]
1 (0-0-1) – PONSILUOMA Martin [SWE]

Reasoning by nation instead, it is clear that Norway has assumed the role of hegemonic power over the years in Kontiolahti. However, in recent times France has strongly recovered, up to hoist itself in second position. Just last year, however, the Scandinavians re-extended.
31 (14-6-11) – NORWAY
23 (6-12-5) – FRANCE
20 (7-3-10) – GERMANY [All-Inclusive]
11 (3-3-5) – RUSSIA
5 (2-3-0) – AUSTRIA
5 (2-1-2) – SWEDEN
4 (1-2-1) – ITALY
4 (0-2-2) – CZECH REP
2 (1-1-0) – POLAND
1 (1-0-0) – SLOVENIA
1 (0-1-0) – CANADA
1 (0-1-0) – LATVIA
1 (0-1-0) – USSR
1 (0-1-0) – USA
1 (0-0-1) – SWITZERLAND

So for Italy the balance sheet speaks of a victory and four podiums , which arrived with as many different athletes. The success bears the signature of Andreas Zingerle , who won in the sprint disputed on March 17, 1990 . Subsequently Johann Passler finished 3rd the individual on March 18, 1993 . Then Patrick Favre put the silver medal around his neck in the World Cup sprint staged on February 12, 1999 . Finally Christian De Lorenzi finished 2nd the chase on March 14, 2010 .

As for the active Azzurri, Lukas Hofer boasts five placings in the top-ten , with the sixth places obtained in the sprint of 2014 and in the pursuit of 2017 as the best results. Dominik Windisch also made a breakthrough in the top ten once, finishing 7th in the 2018 mass start. For his part, Thomas Bormolini entered the points area on three occasions, collecting two 26th places as best results. Tommaso Giacomel also made his way to the top forty, finishing 39th in the chase staged in March 2020.

Relay races are also scheduled in Kontiolahti . Rather unusual event for the Finnish town. In fact, in the men’s field only 7 have been disputed so far, whose victories are divided as follows.

2 – GERMANY (including 2015 world champion gold)
1 – ITALY (1990 world champion gold)
1 – BELARUS (1999 rainbow gold)

So Italy has made a world title right here. It was March 18, 1990 and in Finland the relay was recovered, which could not be staged during the Minsk World Cup due to lack of snow. Pier Alberto Carrara , Wilfried Pallhuber , Johann Passler and Andreas Zingerle won ahead of France and East Germany.

In addition, the blue movement also boasts another podium. On 21 December 1997 Patrick Favre , Wilfried Pallhuber , Pier Alberto Carrara and Renè Cattarinussi finished third behind Russia and Belarus.